IMSA’s early 2025 schedule release a bonus for fans, partners

IMSA President John Doonan surprised the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge paddocks with the reveal of the 2025 schedule at Sebring International Raceway last Friday, a remarkably early unveiling for a racing series. The announcement was facilitated by the continuity from the 2024 calendar – no changes in venues, nor the order of those venues. While some fans were hoping to see some different things, the calendar announcement coming in March was certainly met with approval.

Two the things that some fans were hoping would be addressed were the continued absence of Grand Touring Prototype from the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park event, and the omission of Lime Rock Park – for many years a staple of the schedule, most recently as a GTD PRO/GTD-only event.

“We are super-sensitive to race team budgets,” explained Doonan on keeping GTP off the CTMP bill. “Adding a fifth Michelin Endurance Cup event [at Indianapolis] is more running time, it’s more tires, it’s more fuel, it’s more time on the cars. So we’re real sensitive to just adding events and adding more time. So for the time being, we’re going to stick with what we have here. And we’ll watch it and we’ll monitor it with the race teams, but we’re comfortable with what we have.”


There are 11 events on the WeatherTech Championship schedule. GTP appears at nine of them, with CTMP and the GT-only event at VIR not on the schedule for the top class. LMP2 has seven, skipping the street races, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and VIR. GTD PRO and GTD each have 10 races, as they swap the two street races – GTD at Long Beach, GTD PRO at Detroit. Bringing Lime Rock back would likely mean the elimination of GT from one of the other events to keep budgets in check, but the series is still looking at ways to make it happen.

“We’re continuing to talk to the team at Lime Rock about bringing IMSA back there. It’s a great history there, so in whatever form we go back, IMSA and Lime Rock have a long-standing tradition and I hope we can continue that for years and years to come,” said Doonan.

Disappointment from CTMP and Lime Rock fans aside, there is no getting around that fact that the early schedule release helps from a planning standpoint for teams, manufacturers and other IMSA partners, as well as hopefully avoiding conflicts with other sports car racing series in North America and around the world.

“For me, all of us in the office, we’re confident,” Doonan said. “There’s zero arrogance allowed in IMSA, we are just confident that we’ve earned the place in the sport, both here in North America and as anybody around the globe that watches us knows, to be able to do these types of things. We’ve got the agreements in place with title partners, we’ve got the agreements in place with broadcast partners, we’ve got the agreements in place with promoter partners. So why not give everyone a longer runway to be able to start their planning for next year with confidence to know they’ve got these key events to race and to tell stories around? That just makes me happy for our sport, to be honest, because everybody’s worked extremely hard to get to this place.”

IMSA’s partners agree, as noted by GM Vice President, Performance and Motorsports, Jim Campbell, who oversees Cadillac and Chevrolet’s participation in IMSA competition.

“It’s very helpful. It’s helpful for our forward planning, but it’s also helpful because we know then fans can plan their trips to the racetrack,” he said. “And that’s a key component. We love racing for the benefits that it brings our company, but obviously one of those benefits is exposing our cars and propulsion systems to the race fans. And our hope is we get on their shopping list when they’re coming back in the market for a car truck. So that allows them to plan as well. So this forward planning is super helpful for us as a manufacturer and for the fans.”

In addition to the WeatherTech Championship schedule, IMSA also announced the Michelin Pilot Challenge schedule, which again includes headlining at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with several of the IMSA-sanctioned one-make series participating in the weekend as well.

Story originally appeared on Racer